August 17, 2020

Vermont Bowhunter Education Course Goes Virtual

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States and States Program Administrator

On August 11, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced that the state’s sportsmen and women will now be able to earn their bowhunter certifications through an online education course. As previously reported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), this decision falls in-line with the hunter education and trapper education programs, which have already switched to a virtual format in response to the ongoing pandemic.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department explains that “the curriculum consists of a video presentation, several demonstration videos and a final exam,” adding that successful test takers will have their certification cards mailed to them within two weeks. Candidates also have the option of participating in the bowhunter education course in-person, though these opportunities are limited.

Internet based hunter’s education courses and other related prerequisites for obtaining hunting licenses are undoubtedly commonplace. Currently, 45 out of the 50 states that require such certifications also offer these opportunities through online programs, affording prospective hunters with convenient venues and self-paced opportunities to study. Typically, after successfully passing the respective exam, and then for a modest fee, students can take an exam which qualifies them for a field test and/or written exam that may be scheduled online and/or completed at a location convenient to them. In many states, students that successfully pass the online portion of the class are qualified, and often required, to attend a field day that includes hands-on instructions, though the COVID-19 pandemic has obviously made much of this impossible throughout the nation.

CSF commends the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department for recognizing the difficult circumstances that many hunters find themselves in, and for expanding the possibilities for acquiring the bowhunter certification. Those interested in acquiring more information on the Vermont bowhunter education course are encouraged to read the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s press release and to visit the course portal.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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